Well, we are starting the holiday season. You’ll be around family and friends. This is a great time to take family portraits. How do you get the best shots to show off your skills? Well, believe it or not I am going to suggest taking the first shots or so in AUTO. Now, check the settings the camera used and go to manual and plug in those numbers. Now you can fine tune the shot. Remember if the camera used FLASH in auto, it will not in Manual. So you will have to pop the flash up or use an external flash.
But the best light is window light if it is during the day. So put your subjects near the window so the light is touching one side of the subject’s face. Now move the subject back and forth, even to a position where the subject is behind the window opening. Observe how the light falls on the subject. Pick the look you like first and take those shots. If they will stay around awhile, take additional shots, while moving them around. Another great place for natural light is under an overhang like the porch, deck, maybe even a tree.
If you are taking shots inside at night, make sure you have your White Balance set for the type of light you are under. Use Auto White Balance if it gives you photos that have no color cast. Remember also, you may be using flash which will overwhelm the light in the room, making it necessary to use AWB or FLASH WB.
Instead of starting with AUTO, you could try P (Program). The flash will NOT pop up if needed. The camera will set a real slow shutter speed if the light is too low. So pop the flash up if needed or use a tripod for natural light. Remember in “P-MODE” you can change the exposure compensation, use bracketing, and ISO, as well as some other settings depending on the camera.
Remember the family is going to want a copy of the photo(s). This is going to cost you time (touching up the photo) and money if you are doing prints for them.
Have fun and a happy holiday season!!